By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor
The Illinois Department of Transportation will close the U.S. 60/62 bridge over the Mississippi River in January to all traffic. An ILDOT spokesman said a weight restriction of 15 tons, which was posted in November, was not enough to keep all heavy vehicles away, leaving ILDOT with no alternative.
ILDOT spokesman Keith Miley said the 1920s-era bridge on U.S. 60/62 south of Cairo, IL, simply isn’t safe for heavy traffic. The structure will close to all traffic Jan. 11, 2011, and remain closed until repairs are made.
“Over a two-week period, we had 53 violations. It totaled almost $600,000,” Miley told Land Line. “Based on discussions with the Illinois State Police, we made the decision to go ahead and close the bridge.”
Prior to the posted weight restriction in November, the bridge carried 3,500 vehicles per day, 23 percent of which were commercial vehicles.
Miley expects ILDOT to have bids in hand during the summer and for repair work to begin in August.
ILDOT recommends that traffic use Interstate 57 to cross the Mississippi River in the area.
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